Yes, you read that title correctly. 18-year-old Lakeith Smith was convicted of felony murder, armed burglary, second-degree theft, and third-degree theft this week and sentenced to 65 years behind bars even though he didn’t kill anyone. In fact, his friend was the one who was murdered at the hands of Montgomery police.
Back when he was 15, Smith and a group of his friends were stopped by officers who accused them of breaking into two homes in the neighborhood. Body cam footage allegedly showed Smith’s friend, 16-year-old A’Donte Washington, pointing a gun at the officers and died after being shot four times by one of the officers. Unfortunately, there is an accomplice liability law which held him equally responsible for the acts that led up to his friend’s death.
The officer who killed A’Donte was cleared of all charges, but after rejecting a plea deal which would have given him 25 years in jail, Smith has been handed a 65-year-sentence which many believe is unjust. “The officer shot A’donte, not Lakeith Smith,” Smith’s attorney, Jennifer Holton, said during the trial. “Lakeith was a 15-year-old child, scared to death. He did not participate in the act that caused the death of A’donte. He never shot anybody.”
According to reports, C.J. Robinson, chief assistant district attorney said, “We are very pleased with this sentence. Because the sentences are consecutive, it will be a long time before he comes up for even the possibility for parole, at least 20 to 25 years.” He later told @FoxNews, “Standing there in court, I couldn’t help but have compassion for his grandfather, for his family,” Robinson said. “Because of his stupidity, they have lost him for 65 years.”
According to reports, the other suspects, Jhavarske Jackson, 23, Jadarien Hardy, 22 and La’Anthony Washington, 22, entered guilty pleas of “felony murder, burglary and theft.” They have not been sentenced yet.